Climate and Environment

Ahead of Earth Hour, Filipinos urged to bike more, choose leaders with plans to address climate crisis

Ahead of Earth Hour, Filipinos urged to bike more, choose leaders with plans to address climate crisis
People look at brahminy kites inside an aviary at the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden in Manila on December 30, 2021, during a soft opening for employees and their family members after the department of Environment and Natural Resources identified it as a major pollutant of Manila Bay and closed the facility in 2019.
AFP/Maria Tan

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Wednesday urged Filipinos to elect leaders with policies on climate change mitigation as part of making environmental stewardship a part of their “new normal” lifestyle.

In a release issued ahead of the annual Earth Hour event on March 26, DENR acting secretary Jim Sampulna called on the public to go beyond the symbolic switching off of lights for an hour by creating “a norm that puts our planet and, ultimately, our people first.”

The acting DENR chief encouraged Filipinos to use bicycles and mass transit systems, carpool to go to places, reduce plastic usage and be conscious consumers.

He added that voters must elect leaders who will prioritize climate change mitigation. Although United Nations scientists have already warned that the window to act to avoid climate catastrophe is closing fast, climate change has been largely missing from the election campaign.  

“Sustainability should already be a lifestyle and a common goal for each Filipino,” he said.

Sampulna stressed the ambitious goal of the Philippines to slash planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030 cannot be attained if the government works alone and if people continue their unsustainable practices.

“Climate change is no longer a foreign term for all of us. With all the typhoons and disasters we have experienced in the past, I hope that Filipinos are already conscious and responsible towards taking care of the environment,” he said.

The department urged Filipinos to join this year’s Earth Hour by switching off computers, television sets, airconditioning units, and non-essential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The DENR committed to pursue the enforcement of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 200, Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 and Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, and strengthen the National Greening Program. — Gaea Katreena Cabico




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